FLORA ON 2020 STAMPS OF EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. PART II
In the past year of 2020, postal administrations of many countries put into postal circulation a variety of interesting stamps devoted to one of the most popular philately subjects, “Flora”. Of the greatest interest to Russian philatelists are stamps of continental countries since most of the plant species pictured in these postage miniatures are also present in the nature of Russia.
28.12.2020. Armenia. Flora of Armenia*
230 Armenian Drams. Bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) is a species of perennial herbaceous plants of the Ophrys genus in the Orchidaceae family. The plant is widespread in Western Europe, the Mediterranean region, the Crimea and the Caucasus. Bee orchid grows in light oak-juniper forests, shrubs, on edges of the wood; it covers calciferous taluses of the lower mountain belt. The bee orchid is extremely scarce. The plant got its name because of its rather peculiar appearance. If you do not look closely at the plant, its flower can be easily confused with a bee.
*Geographically, the country is completely located in Asia, but from the geopolitical and cultural viewpoint, it can be related to Europe since it is a member of a number of continental international organizations.
10.12.2020. Romania. Plants blooming in winter (series)
2 lei. Poinsettia or bird-of-paradise flower (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a spectacular plant with bright scarlet leaves, which in many countries is considered a symbol of Christmas and New Year. The plant is native to Central America, Mexico and Guatemala. It is grown as an indoor plant. Its distinctive feature is the colorful leaves surrounding the flowers; they are not petals, as is often misbelieved, but modified leaves named bracts.
2.20 lei. Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) is a small forest plant native to southern Europe. It blooms in late winter or very early in spring when the ground is still covered with snow.
Emission form of the series: sheets with formatted margins with 5 stamps and a coupon.
5 lei. Amaryllis (Hippeastrum sp.). Plants of the Hippeastrum genus are native to South and Central America. Various types of amaryllis are grown as indoor plants.
19 lei. Christmas rose or black hellebore (Helleborus niger) is an evergreen flowering plant that grows in mountainous regions of Europe. It has white or pink flowers. It has been known since antiquity as a medicinal plant, although it is very venomous. It is also cultivated as an indoor or garden plant, flowering from winter to early spring.
The First Day Cover provides an image of schlumbergera or Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata). This is a species of plants in the Cactaceae family endemic to coastal mountains of South-Eastern Brazil. In the Northern Hemisphere, where the plants are grown indoors, they commonly flower in winter, for which reason it got its name Christmas cactus
17.11.2020. Slovenia. The Slovenes in Germany
In 1991, businesspersons of Slovenian origin founded an association in Stuttgart that has been developing economic contacts between Slovenia and Germany. A stamp issued in Slovenia is devoted to the long-term cooperation between Germany and Slovenia. The stamp features the leaves, blossoms and fruits of the trees that are symbols of the two countries: European oak (Quércus róbur) of Germany and large-leaved linden (Tília platyphyllos) of Slovenia.
01.11.2020. Bosnia and Herzegovina (Mostar). Flora (series)
Veronica saturejoides (Veronica saturejoides) is an endemic plant of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This perennial creeping plant grows from 10 to 30 cm long. It has simple slightly serrated leaves, at the bottom conjoined in the form of a rosette. The flowers have an azure blue crown and bloom from May until July.
Moltkia petraea (Moltkia petraea) also belongs to a group of endemic plants of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Violet-blue bell-shaped flowers are assembled in dense inflorescences. Leaves are dark green, narrow and oblong. The stem grows up to 50 cm. This deciduous perennial plant blooms from May to July.
26.10.2020. Belgium. Extraordinary mushrooms (series)
Crucibulum is a genus in the Nidulariaceae family of fungi whose fruiting bodies resemble tiny egg-filled bird’s nests. Often called “splash cups”, the fruiting bodies are adapted for spore dispersal by using the kinetic energy of falling drops of rain.
Red cage or basket stinkhorn (Clathrus ruber), a species of mushrooms of the Clathrus genus in the Phallaceae family, is considered inedible.
Octopus stinkhorn (Clathrus archeri) is a species of mushrooms of the Clathrus genus in the family Phallaceae. Common popular name is Devil's fingers.
Rayed earthstar or four-footed earthstar (Geastrum quadrifidum) is a species of mushrooms of the Geastrum genus. It is a rather rare type of mushroom that grows in all types of forests preferably in a warm climate.
Calocera viscosa (Calоcera viscоsa) commonly known as the yellow stagshorn is a jelly fungus in the form of antlers, undivided into a cap and a stipe. It is a conditionally edible type of mushroom widespread in Europe and North America.
Emission form of the series: a sheet with formatted margins with 10 (5×2) stamps.
17.09.2020. Spain. Elms of Cabeza del Buey
A group of seven several-hundred old elm trees loom large over the chapel of the famous Our Lady of Belén sanctuary in the town of Cabeza del Buey in Sierra de Andujar Natural Park. These trees are considered the oldest elms in Spain. The Belén Elms represented Spain in the 2018 European Tree of the Year competition, finishing in the second place.
3.80 Euros. The shape of the stamp is stylized on an embossed tree cut. Also issued was a First Day Cover.
15.09.2020. Bosnia and Herzegovina – Republic of Serbia
0.90 Convertible Marks. Illyrian gladiolus or wild gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus) is a perennial plant that grows to a height of 50 cm in height, it is native of Europe, especially the Mediterranean region.
0.90 Convertible Marks. Woodland tulip or wild tulip (Tulipa sylvestris) is a Eurasian and North African species of wild tulip, a plant in the Liliaceae family. Its native range covers most of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins, and Central Asia.
1.80 Convertible Marks. White asphodel (Asphodelus albus) is an herbaceous plant belonging to the Asphodelus genus in the Asphodelaceae family. The species is native to the Mediterranean area; also grows on the African continent. It is commonly found in meadows up to an altitude of 2,200 m above sea level. White asphodelus has been cultivated as an ornamental plant since the 16th century.
1.80 Convertible Marks. Mountain fritillaria (Fritillaria montana) is a species of herbaceous perennial plants of the Fritillaria genus of the Liliaceae family. It is a typical representative of the mountain flora native to the Mediterranean and western Black Sea regions. It is a valuable ornamental plant.
Emission form of the series: a sheet with formatted margins with 8 stamps. Also issued was a First Day Cover.
11.09.2020. Bosnia and Herzegovina – Republic of Serbia. Mountain germander herb repertory (series)
The inhabitants of Serbian villages around Mount Ozren honor ancient national traditions associated with the Mountain germander herb. It is widely thought that the plants harvested on the day of Beheading of St. John the Baptist (September 11) are exceptionally effective for healing purposes. There is a widespread saying that "the grass of life makes the living from the dead". This plant has a scientific name of Teucrium montanumо; it has many medicinal properties.
Emission form of the series: a sheet with formatted margins with 8 stamps (4 strips) and 2 coupons. Also issued was a First Day Cover.
04.09.2020. Aland Islands. Four seasons (booklet)
The booklet comprises 4 stamps featuring the famous Mariehamn esplanade in different seasons. This alley brought the city the epithet of “the city of a thousand lindens”. The Esplanade is a popular, all-year pedestrian area. For today, the alley is made up of 320 common linden or common lime trees (Tilia europaea).
28.08.2020. Austria. Chanterelle
The chanterelle mushroom became the first one in the design of a new Mushrooms of Austria series of Austrian stamps. Golden chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) is a species of mushroom in the Cantharellaceae family. It grows in Europe from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Basin, mainly in deciduous and coniferous forests. More than 60 species of this mushroom are reported. Chanterelles are not only edible mushrooms, they are also in demand in folk medicine. In Austria, the mushroom, because of its yellow color, has the name of "Eierschwammerl", which literally means "egg mushroom".
28.08.2020. Estonia. Fly agarics
Panther cap or false blusher (Amanita pantherina) belongs to the Amanita genus of the Amanitaceae family. It can be found in coniferous woodland, mixed and broad-leaved forests. Mass growth is observable in August and September. It will have a different appearance depending on the place of growth: the cap can vary from light to dark color. The mushroom is highly poisonous and prohibited for consumption.
19.08.2020. Protected plants (series)
The plant species presented in this philatelic issue are native to Romania.
1.90 lei. Soldanella or snowbell (Soldanella oreodoxa) is a genus of perennial plants that includes about 15 species of flowering plants native to European mountains of Central and Southern Europe; they grow at an altitude of 500-3,000 m above sea level. Some species are cultivated as ornamental plants. The name Soldanella means "little coins" in Italian. Soldanella is a specially protected plant in Romania.
3.30 lei. Lady’s-slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus) is a genus of perennial plants, the most spectacular of all northern orchids. It has a widespread distribution in Eurasia from the British Isles to the Pacific. It is typically found in open woodland, as well as in mountainous, deciduous, mixed, and less often in coniferous and steppe forests, on forest edges, forest meadows and in shrubbery. Preparations made of this plant are widely used in medicine.
5 lei. Peony “Peregrina” or Balkan peony (Paeonia peregrina) is a perennial plant. The height of the sub-shrub is 30–70 cm. The flowers are red, 7–11 cm across. It grows in shrubbery, in semi-shaded places. The peony is widespread in its wild form in southern Europe and Asia Minor. It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.
19 lei. Great yellow gentian (Gentiana lutea) is an herbaceous perennial legally protected plant in the Gentianaceae family. It grows in grassy alpine and sub-alpine pastures. The plant is cultivated for healing purposes.
Emission form of the series: a sheet with formatted margins with 5 stamps and a coupon. Also issued was a First Day Cover.
06.08.2020. Romania. Orchids (series)
The plant species presented in this philatelic issue are native to Romania.
3.30 lei. Burnt orchid or burnt-tip orchid (Orchis ustulata var. aestivalis) is a species of flowering plants of the Orchidaceae family. Flowers have a strong fragrance similar to that of honey. Burnt orchid is distributed throughout Southern and Central Europe. This species typically grows on chalky subsoil in grassland; it also grows in fens and open pine forest; mountain meadows and valleys at an altitude of up to 2,400 m above sea level.
5 lei. Red helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra) is a species of herbaceous plants that reaches 50–60 cm height. In its early years, the red helleborine is a sub-ground plant. The first efflorescence takes place when the plant is 15 years old. The plant is found in single specimens, rarely, in small groups in the forests of Europe and Asia Minor. It is one of the rarest species of European orchids.
8.50 lei. Anacamptis pyramidalis or the pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Anacamptis genus of the Orchidaceae family. The stem of the plant may reach 60 cm of height. This orchid is native to southwestern Eurasia, from Western Europe through the Mediterranean region eastwards to Iran. It grows in thinned-out, light, dry forests, closer to forest edges and clearings; in thickets, it occurs rarely and usually in small groups.
10.50 lei. Gymnadenia (Nigritella miniata) is a plant up to 25 cm high with dark pink or red flowers sending forth vanilla fragrance. It grows in sunny alpine meadows in the Alps and the Carpathians at an altitude of 1,600-2,300 m above sea level. It is rare in nature but widely cultivated as an ornamental garden plant.
Emission form of the series: sheets with formatted margins with 5 stamps and a coupon. Also issued was a First Day Cover.
05.08.2020. Hungary. Our natural assets (series)
The issued strip of 4 stamps is dedicated to flora and fauna of Hungary. Two stamps of the series show representatives of fauna: a dor beetle or spring dor beetle (Trypocopris vernalis) and a pike-perch fish (Sander lucioperca). The other two stamps show representatives of flora.
185 Forints. Purple coneflower or echinacea (Echinаcea purpurea) is a perennial plant in the Asteraceae family native to North America; in Hungary, this plant is cultivated as a medical plant. Tincture and tea with this perennial have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulate the immune system, and preparations made from the plant extract are widely used in medicine.
185 Forints. Tatar maple (Аcer tatаricum) is a tree of the Sapindaceae family widespread across Central and Eastern Europe as well as Southwest Asia and Eastern Siberia. It grows in broadleaved forests, along ravines and riverbanks. The tree is cultivated as ornamental plantings in gardens and parks.
Emission form of the series: a sheet consisting of 10 strips. Also issued was a First Day Cover.
24.07.2020. Turkey. Cacti (series)
The series consists of a rating stamp and a postage block comprising 5 stamps with different plots and denominations. A First Day Cover was prepared for the issuance of the series.
3 Liras. Opuntia or prickly pear (Opuntia) is a genus of plants in the Cactaceae family. With reference to the variety of species (their number reaches about 300), this genus is one of the most numerous in the family. Prickly pear is native to vast territories of North and South America, including the West Indies. Almost half of the prickly pear species grow in Mexico, which is the main growing area of the genus. The plant is covered with prickles, including the smallest ones, which are easily separated from the cactus body; its flowers are usually of yellow or red color. In recent years, a number of countries has been growing prickly pear at an increasing scale for use as forage.
Stamps of the postal block:
3 Liras. Hedgehog cactus of the Echinopsis genus (Echinopsis Zucc.) belongs to the Cactaceae family, which includes more than three dozen species. The name of the genus can be translated as "hedgehog-like", it derives from Greek echinos meaning hedgehog and opsis meaning appearance. The geographic distribution of hedgehog cacti is Northern Bolivia to Southern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Southern Brazil. In these countries, they grow in valleys, and some species can be found in the foreland of the Andes.
5.50 Liras. Matucana haynei (Matucana haynei (Otto ex Salm-Dyck) Britton & Rose) is a globular cactus with purple tubular flowers protruding from the prickles. The name of the cactus comes from a namesake small town of Matucana in the mountains of Peru where this representative of the flora is endemic. Today, the species that once used to prosper in Peru is an endangered plant. Matukana breeding is very popular among cactus growers.
1.40 Liras. Echinopsis Peach Monarch (Echinopsis Cv. Peach Monarch) is a hybrid species with beautiful peachy-pink flowers. Echinopsis is one of the favorite and most popular species of indoor cacti. It is not difficult to grow it, which results in new hybrid varieties of various shapes, sizes and colors being successfully cultivated.
5.50 Liras. Bishop’s hat or bishop’s miter cactus (Astrophytum myriostígma Lem.) is the best-known one from the numerous Astrophytum genus. The cactus has three to seven (usually five) pronounced vertical ribs, which define the cactus’, shape, hence the genus name Astrophytum literally means “star plant”. The plant originates from and is native to highlands of Central and North-Eastern Mexico. This cactus has been popular since its discovery in 1837 and has been imported to Europe in large quantities.
3 Liras. Spiny pincushion cactus (Mammillaria spinosissima Lem.) is a cactus in the Mammillaria genus. The species was described by James Forbes in 1838. It is endemic to the Mexican states of Guerrero and Morelos where it grows in dry deserts. Mammillaria is one of the largest genera of the family, which numbers about 200 species. Some of them are very easy to keep and can be found in almost any cactus-grower collection, but others are very fastidious and rare.
08.07.2020. Andorra. Tree leaves
1.45 Euros. The stamp features a leaf and inflorescence of a linden tree (Tília). Linden is a genus of trees or large shrubs belonging to the Malvaceae family, which comprises about 45 species of trees and large shrubs; many of the species can hybridize readily. The lifespan of a linden depends on the species, but on average, it reaches 500-600 years; there are known trees aged about 1,000 years. In nature, the tree grows in temperate and subtropical zones in broadleaved and mixed forests in North America, Europe, and Asia. From ancient times, people esteemed linden for its medicinal properties and have been using it as a powerful remedy for therapy of a wide variety of diseases. For medical purposes, use is made of linden buds, flowers, bark and honey.
The stamp is issued in the form of a stylized linden leaf. Also issued is a First Day Cover.
12.06.2020. France. Flowers of Grasse and the Mediterranean (series)
The postal block shows the inflorescences of four plants making the basic raw material for the perfumery industry that are grown in the vicinity of the Provencal city of Grasse. Today this city is referred to as the perfume capital of the world, because of a large number of world-famous perfume companies operating here. Grasse is the birthplace of the famous Chanel No.5 perfume. Since the 15th century, the city has been known as a manufacturing center of kid gloves. The vogue of fragrance gloves became an impetus for a kind of reorientation, and in the 16th century, perfume manufacturing was launched there. Since that time, by virtue of wonderful climate, Grasse has turned literally into a flower bed; it is here that 2/3 of all natural perfumes of France are produced. Every year, perfume manufactures process about 500 tons of rose petals, 60 tons of jasmine and almost 100 tons of citrus flowers grown in the environs of the city. It was for a good reason that Grasse was chosen as the scene of famous bestseller Das Parfum by Patrick Süskind. Outstanding Russian writer Ivan Bunin lived in the city from 1939 to 1945.
0.97 Euros. Rose de Mai or Provence rose (Rosa centifolia) is a symbol of Grasse. In addition to the petal extract, the Provence rose is used for manufacturing rose oil, rose floral water, rose vinegar and rose honey. The plant is widely used in medicine. This stamp, alongside with making part of the block, was issued separately in an extra edition.
0.97 Euros. Agave amica or tuberose (Agave amica) is a perennial plant in the Asparagaceae family; its extracts are used in perfumery. Tuberose is notable for strong peculiar fragrance. Now widely grown as an ornamental plant, the species was originally brought from Mexico.
0.97 Euros. Viola (Viola sp.) is a genus of flowering plants in the Violaceae family. This genus in the family contains nearly 500 species (or, according to some sources, more than 700). Most species are found primarily in the Northern Hemisphere in the mountains and regions with temperate climate. Viola leaves are widely used in the perfume industry and its flowers are in use in confectionery and floristry.
0.97 Euros. Orange (Citrus sinensis) is the most widespread citrus plant in all the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. An orange tree is in a sense unique for perfumery. It grants three varieties of essential oil: slightly sweetish from the rind of the fruit, the most delicate neroli oil from small white flowers and acerb petitgrain oil from tree leaves. Each of the oils has its own unique aroma. Fresh, sparkling citrus notes impart lightness and sometimes bitterness to perfume compositions.
In addition to the main issue, two leaflets for a booklet were published, one of which was scented with orange fragrance.
08.06.2020. France. Cosmos flowers (booklet)
Cosmos (Cosmos) are herbaceous annual or perennial plants from the Asteraceae family. In its natural environment, it is commonly found in South and North America. The greatest species diversity is observable in Mexico. To date, researchers have identified about 40 separate plant species; among these, only two are intensively cultivated by gardeners: Cosmos bipinnatus and Cosmos sulfureus. In addition, there is a large number of multi-colored varieties of Cosmos flowers.
Emission form of the series: a booklet containing 12 stamps (3 sheets with 4 stamps on each). The tax value of the stamps is "Green", which corresponds to the letter post rate with the weight up to 20 g in France, Monaco and Andorra.
03.06.2020. Finland. Wild flowers (series)
The United Nations organization declared the year of 2020 the first year devoted to plants named the International Year of Plant Health. This Finland initiative is aimed at raising global awareness of food security issues. Plants make up 80% of the food we eat. They produce 98% of the oxygen we breathe. At the same time, plants, which are the living base on Earth, are fraught with an increasing danger of extinction. Today, up to 40% of the global food crops are lost annually due to plant pests, diseases and weeds. In Finland, the International Year for Plant Health program also includes pollinator campaigns: Hyönteishotellit2020 and Pelasta Pörriäinen. Wild flowers and their pollinators ensure reliable protection for many crops, which otherwise would also be in trouble.
Common hepatica or liverwort (Hepаtica nоbilis) is an herbaceous winter annual plant, a species of the Anemone genus in the Ranunculaceae family.
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is an herbaceous flowering plant native throughout the Northern Hemisphere in regions with temperate climate. According to traditional assumptions, it is the only species of the Convallaria genus.
Wild pansy or heart’s delight (Víola trícolor) is an herbaceous annual or biennial (rarely perennial) plant common in Europe and temperate regions in Asia, belongs to the Violaceae family.
Harebell or Scottish bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia) is a species of a plant of the Campanula genus in the Campanulaceae family.
Meadow buttercup or tall buttercup (Ranunculus ácris) is an herbaceous plant of the Ranunculus genus in the Ranunculaceae family.
Red clover (Trifolium pratеnse) is a plant of the Trifolium genus in the Fabaceae family.
Common marguerite or ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a perennial herb of the Leucanthemum genus in the Asteraceae family.
Wood cranesbill or woodland geranium (Gerаnium sylvаticum) is a species of perennial herbaceous plants of the Gerаnium genus in the Geraniaceae family.
The series was issued in the form of a single roll where the entire series is repeated in succession. The stamps have a face value indication in the form of an outline of Finland, which corresponds to a simple rate for domestic mail. Also issued was a First Day Cover by the series coming into circulation.
The review was prepared by Marina Safonova